The Research is in: It's Good to have an MBA in 2016

Crows of MBA graduates at ceremony wearing graduation caps

The Graduate Management Admission Council has released its Year-End Poll of Employers. Employers across the globe are invited to participate in this poll, which collects data on hiring outcomes for master’s-level business school graduates from the past year. This data can help give insights into the job market these candidates will face in the coming year.

"Employer demand for graduate management talent is projected to remain strong in 2016 for MBAs and other master's-level business candidates," said Bob Alig, GMAC's executive vice president for school products. "Recent graduates from business and management programs should see high demand for their skills because employers understand that they are valuable assets to their organizations."

Here are the key findings that can help you navigate your job search this year.

  1. Employers value business school graduates.

The majority of employers who responded to the poll say that hiring those with a master’s level business degree creates value for their company. Nearly 70% of them said they are actively trying to recruit graduates of MBA and other specialized business master’s programs.

  1. There’s a strong demand for MBA graduates.

Three out of four employers say they plan to hire MBA graduates this year. That’s up from the previous year’s survey. A number of employers indicated they want to hire graduates with master’s degrees in accounting and management.

  1. Salaries are likely to rise for MBA graduates.

Good news if you’re an MBA graduate – your salary will likely get a boost. Over half of the employers surveyed expect to increase starting annual base salaries this year at or above the rate of inflation. Especially noted was the expectation to raise annual base salaries for accounting specialties.

  1. It’s a good time to look for an internship.

If you are looking for an internship, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one this year. Nearly three-quarters of the employers polled say they will offer MBA candidates internships.

  1. Most companies are planning for growth.

Companies report that their plans are to expand and grow. Fewer companies reported a focus on reducing costs and overcoming economic challenges. It’s important to note that 86% of those who said their companies are in the midst of overcoming challenges still plan to hire recent MBA graduates.

Overall, the hiring outlook is very good for MBA graduates. If you’re looking for a job this year, focus on companies that are planning to expand. These companies are much more likely to be looking for candidates with an MBA or other specialized business master’s degree.